Hakki-Pikki colony still deprived of basic infrastructure

The temporary colony for Hakki-Pikki families was established in 2018 at Channahalli Bore near Srirangapatna in Mandya.  

When they were assaulted and evicted from a government land by villagers at Mogerahalli in Srirangapatna on the last day of 2017, many fell into depression. Some even threatened to end their lives as they were beaten black-and-blue by villagers for living on government land.

The families of the nomadic Hakki-Pikki were immediately rehabilitated in temporary sheds at Channahalli Bore near Srirangapatna. But, two years on, the colony is languishing due to lack of facilities and the families are crying for attention.

Nearly 300 persons of the community are staying in polythene sheet-covered huts on a barren land provided by the district administration. According to them, snakes and scorpions often enter the huts. Except for drinking water and electricity, essential commodities are rare for these families.

Providing a good education for the children is the major demand the community members have placed before the government. Prominent among the other demands are: Issuing title deeds for land they are staying on, providing them benefits of housing schemes, asphalting roads and constructing compounds at the temporary colony, widow/old age pension, other social security benefits, ration cards etc.

“Most probably, we are the only creatures on this earth [in Mandya district] that are living in wretched conditions,” said Rice, a Hakki Pikki tribal leader at Channahalli Bore. But, he thanked the then district administration and the Social Welfare Department for making immediate arrangements for rehabilitation [The rehabilitation process saw strong objection by the then Srirangapatna MLA A.B. Rameshbabu Bandisidde Gowda]. A majority of the residents at the colony do not know to read and write. They communicate in their own language and some in Gujarati, Rajasthani and Hindi. Only some of them have caste certificates, aadhaar and ration cards. Others have been deprived of these facilities, said Khusbhu.

“Our names are our enemies when it comes to applying for the benefits of government schemes,” scoffed Shivarajkumar, from the community. True to his words, many residents in the colony have adopted names like Rajnikanth, Kamal Hassan, Shahrukh Khan, Karishma Kapoor, Dwarakeesh, MGR, Prabhakar, etc.

“According to our customs, the father names a child whatever comes to mind immediately after the birth. We have relatives with the names Mysore Pak, Bangalore Express and Hotel. They have just left the colony in search of prospective customers to buy their medicines,” said Scooter. There even were people named Bioscope, Camera, Tape Recorder, Cycle, Double-Decker in other places in the region, said Maibu.

“We will develop the colony shortly by providing members ownership of the land and improving the infrastructure,” B. Malathi, District Social Welfare Officer, said.

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Printable version | Jun 15, 2021 12:01:14 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/hakki-pikki-colony-still-deprived-of-basic-infrastructure/article29317362.ece

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